Best Marketing Books: 10 Must-Reads for Top Marketers


Serious marketers are always keen to keep up to date with trends and to further their marketing knowledge through self-study. As a result, they’re continuously adding new books to their reading list.

Here are some of the best marketing books that we would recommend all marketers read!

1. Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck

In the course of over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have established what it is that determines whether particular ideas or stories stick in our minds or not, and Made to Stick is the fascinating outcome of their painstaking research.

Entertaining and informative by turns, this is a fascinating and multi-faceted account of a key area of human behaviour. At the same time, by showing how we can all use such cleverly devised strategies as the ‘Velcro Theory of Memory’ and ‘curiosity gaps’, it offers superbly practical insights, setting out principles we all can adopt to make sure that we get our ideas across effectively.

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2. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social media marketing strategies that really works. When managers and marketers outline their social media strategies, they plan for the “right hook”. That is their next sale or campaign that’s going to knock out the competition.

Thanks to massive change and proliferation in social media platforms, the winning combination of jabs and right hooks is different now. Vaynerchuk shows that while communication is still key, context matters more than ever. It’s not just about developing high-quality content, but developing high-quality content perfectly adapted to specific social media platforms and mobile devices. That is content tailor-made for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.

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3. Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less

Author Joe Pulizzi is a content marketing strategist, speaker and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, which runs the largest physical content marketing event in North America, Content Marketing World. It’s safe to say he knows a thing or too about content marketing.

Epic Content Marketing helps you develop strategies that seize the competitive edge. This is done by creating messages and “stories” tailored for instant, widespread distribution on social media, Google, and the mainstream press. It provides a step-by-step plan for developing powerful content that resonates with customers and describes best practices for social media sharing and search engine discoverability.

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4. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favourite programme or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family meal, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snaring our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.

Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity, time, Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to voluntarily accept advertising. Now the Internet pioneer who has dramatically improved marketing effectiveness in media introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out to only those individuals who have expressed an interest in learning more about a product, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness, and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

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5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behaviour has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.

You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

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6. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers

Eighty percent of companies say they deliver outstanding customer service, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. The near-universal adoption of smartphones and social media has fundamentally altered the science of complaints. Critics (“haters”) can now express their displeasure faster and more publicly than ever.

Whether you work for a mom-and-pop store or a global brand, you will have haters. You can’t afford to ignore them. Baer’s insights and tactics will teach you how to embrace complaints, put haters to work for you, and turn bad news into good outcomes.

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7. Everybody Writes: Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

In Everybody Writes, top marketing veteran Ann Handley gives expert guidance and insight into the process and strategy of content creation, production and publishing, with actionable how–to advice designed to get results.

These lessons and rules apply across all of your online assets. These include web pages, home page, landing pages, blogs, email, marketing offers, and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media. Ann deconstructs the strategy and delivers a practical approach to create ridiculously compelling and competent content. It′s designed to be the go–to guide for anyone creating or publishing any kind of online content whether you′re a big brand or you′re small and solo.

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8. All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works – And Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All

Legendary business writer Seth Godin has three essential questions for every marketer:

  • What’s your story?
  • Will the people who need to hear this story believe it?
  • Is it true?

As Seth Godin has taught hundreds of thousands of marketers and students around the world, great marketers don’t talk about features or even benefits. Instead, they tell a story–a story we want to believe, whether it’s factual or not. Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends.

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9. Contagious: How to Build Word of Mouth in the Digital Age

Why are some products and ideas talked about more than others? For what reasons do some articles make the most emailed list? Why do some YouTube videos go viral? Word-of-mouth.

Whether through face-to-face conversations, emails from friends, or online product reviews, the information and opinions we get from others have a strong impact on our own behaviour. And you don’t have to have millions of dollars to spend on an advertising budget. You just have to get people to talk.The challenge, though, is how to do that. This book will show you how.

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10. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

With more than 100 practical tips, tricks, and insights, Guy and Peg present a ground-up strategy to produce a focused, thorough, and compelling presence on the most popular social-media platforms. They guide you through the steps of building your foundation, amassing your digital assets, going to market, optimising your profile, attracting more followers, and effectively integrating social media and blogging.

For beginners overwhelmed by too many choices, as well as seasoned professionals eager to improve their game, The Art of Social Media is full of tactics that have been proven to work in the real world. Or as Guy puts it, “Great Stuff, No Fluff.”

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Your best marketing books recommendations

So now you know what we think the best marketing books are, but what do you think? Are there any books that you would recommend that didn’t make our list? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts.


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